Ah, tomorrow is the turkey day and you shamefully put off buying wine.
Do not panic. Here’s a last-minute, cut-to-the-chase guide. No specific recommended bottles—you don’t have time for searching. Run into the store, grab what is available.
Single best last-minute choice
Champagne and sparkling wines bring elegance and phenomenal food-pairing versatility. Sparkling wines can shine from appetizer start to pumpkin/pecan pie finish. Divide number of wine drinkers by two and buy that many bottles of bubbly, plus couple more for good measure.
Best Thanksgiving whites
Sauvignon Blanc: Citrus-based flavors with herb or mineral undertones pair well with turkey and mashed potatoes. Look for one from New Zealand or France (where best is called Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé).
Riesling: Acidity and flavors of apple, apricot, and honey make Riesling a great pairing with sweet potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. Germany makes the best; California has bargains.
Gewurztraminer: Aromatic gusto and spicy taste brings out best in turkey and gravy, also can be conversation starter among neophyte drinkers. Several U.S. producers.
Best Thanksgiving reds
Pinot Noir: Traditional, no-risk favorite. Earthy undertones, relative lightness for a red means it pairs well with traditional flavors of turkey and stuffing. Washington and Oregon compete with California for good domestic bottles; it’s called Burgundy when it’s from France.
Zinfandel: More intense than Pinot Noir, so it is choice if you favor a heartier, higher alcohol red wine able to accommodate spices and bitter and sweet flavors.
Syrah/Shiraz: Can deliver spicy edge and meaty character while accommodating cornucopia of flavors at traditional Thanksgiving meal. Syrah’s peppery notes partner well with herb-infused stuffing and white and dark turkey meat.
GSM: Stands for Grenach, Syrah, Mourvedre blend. Go upscale with a Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas (French), or a bargain with Stump Jump (Australia). Ripe red fruit and pepper; heavier than Pinot Noir, not as bold as Zin or Shiraz.
Now, get going. Time is short. Happy Thanksgiving.